Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Endorphins - Katie

The day I discovered what an endorphin felt like changed nothing on the outside but it was like an extreme makeover to my inside. For days I walked around with a stupid smile. I may have hummed a bit. I was kind, patient and happy. The moment the realization hit me I immediately signed up for another marathon. After the next marathon I was a little quicker to realize the good cheer was not a fluke. It was indeed endorphins. To date (actually over the past 15 months) I have run four marathons and attempted number five but it ended in a DNF (did not finish). Thankfully they gave out the tee shirts before the run so it’s all good. I’ve almost let it go. 

I started running when I turned 30-ish and it became too easy to put on pounds and keep them on despite a fairly healthy diet. I dabbled in half marathons and road races as I became a two-time divorcee and needed to find an outlet for the anger and disappointment. I continued to run as my child grew into an angsty teenager and needed less and less of me. I set my sights on a marathon when I was settled into my Monday through Friday job in the PACU and had weekends free for long runs. I continue to run because endorphins. ENDORPHINS! But also because I have a network of running friends and partners that kick my butt and whose butts I kick on a regular basis. They are the people who get excited about gear and new sneakers and eyelash icicles and race dates. They are my people. 

My plan for training is written in my day planner in red ink (thanks Hal Higdon). It, however, is not a foolproof plan. It only becomes a workable and reliable training plan when I DO. THE. WORK. That means setting the alarm, checking the weather, setting out the clothes, committing to the miles ahead of time, packing the tissues, queuing up a good book to listen to and not hitting the snooze button. These days I’m mostly running to and from work and have a long run scheduled for the weekend. I’m rebuilding my base of endurance and am getting back into the swing of winter running. I’m trying to follow the plan and do the work. I’m trying not to aggravate the injury that kept me from finishing marathon number five (hip bursitis/IT band nonsense). 

I’m thrilled to be running Boston for the second year in a row. Last year despite the rain and puddles I enjoyed an amazing experience that I look back on with fond memories. From the expo to the pictures of my parents in the grandstands it was an opportunity to be proud of myself and my discipline. With this year’s Boston Marathon I’m hoping for a finisher’s medal to go with my tee shirt.

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